Jessica Nastal-Dema, Emily Isaacs, and Rajeez Reddy Rachamalla

Title: Attitudes toward peer review in General Chemistry classes

Abstract: This presentation shares a study of general chemistry students’ attitudes about peer review, conducted in a digital learning ecology. Our analysis of 2,837 students enrolled in General Chemistry I & II at a public research university focuses on how helpful they found peer review. We will discuss how students perceived the act of offering and receiving feedback and how their attitudes shift based on a number of demographics, including race/ethnicity, gender, first language, and family income. In addition to demonstrating the usefulness of fairness as an integrative measurement framework, this presentation suggests peer review of student writing is useful beyond the composition classroom. Research supports the value of peer review for developing writers’ understanding of the task that both the peer and the writer are engaging in: When asked to not only assess peers but also provide commentary and explanation, reviewers gain by explaining and communicating their understanding of the task, simultaneously teaching themselves as they attempt to teach their peer (Black, Harrison, & Lee, 2003; Chi et al., 1994; Roscoe and Chi 2007). This presentation indicates the benefits of peer review extend beyond writing studies into STEM fields, where teamwork and collaboration are central to the lab.